I SHOPPED at Marks and Spencers in Kendal on Saturday afternoon, expecting the usual crowded store and full car park. Instead, the ground and underground car parks were half-empty and I was in and out of the store in no time.

Why so different? The imposition of car park charges from the moment of arrival is one thing, the other being the large notices advising of no concessions for disabled drivers.

This is the smallest car park at any supermarket in Kendal and it is the one where charges are imposed.

People are obviously shopping with their feet - or their cars - and going to the larger, free-of-charge car parks at the many other supermarkets in and around the town.

It may not be M&S’s fault, but to many shoppers it’s now a case of: ‘It’s not just a car park, it’s an M&S car park.’

Allan Muirhead

Kirkby Lonsdale